Post # 1
I bought my fiancee a ring and proposed to her about 5 months ago. We went shopping together at Zales and several other stores and I knew the ring at Zales was the ring that she wanted. When I purchased the ring, they said they didn’t have any GIA paper work because you “can’t certify 3 stone rings.” I was surprised by this but believed them. It was in my price range, which wasn’t much because I was working part time and I am full time undergrad student, but I saved up for 3 months and I was positive she would love it. Well I proposed and she did love it. Here is the issue…about two months after the proposal, she came to me and asked to talk. She started crying and told me that she felt so bad but that she kept seeing black dots and clouds in her center stone. I was sad and worried about this but we both agreed to get it looked at. We had a jeweler look at the ring and he came back and said it was about .37 carats, H-I in color, good cut, but I2 in clarity. We were both shocked. I really just never thought that Zales would sale anything below SI2. We went back to the store and addressed the issue and they smiled it off with a “just think of it as a birth mark, you will always know you are getting your diamond back if you send it out.” We looked around at the diamonds that were certified and saw I1 I2 on everything. There was only one SI2.
Since this incident we have had several fights and arguements over upgrading and getting a new ring. She expressed that she would like to keep her current ring because she does love it and it has so much sentimental value, but wanted to discuss getting a new engagement ring and band for the wedding day. Am I crazy to think this is a rediculous request? I am so crushed by this and frustrated. I was so proud I saved up the money in 3 months. I know she is appreicative of what she received and the fact that I saved for it in cash. She did also express to me in the past that clarity was important to her but I just wanted to get her the ring she said she loved. Now we are looking at rings again and it’s looking like 6500 for the whole set. Is that average, low, too expensive? I feel that is a ton of money to spend on a ring…
What are your feelings on this situation?
Post # 3
I could understand selling the stones and replacing it with a new one… but to keep the first ring and get another engagement ring too??
That doesn’t make any sense to me. I don’t get it – does she not like the original setting?
Post # 4
We went in to look into that, but the jeweler said that if we got a higher quality stone, it would off set the rest of the setting. I guess you would be able to tell that the stones on the band were not as high of quality and it wouldn’t match. We can trade it in, but I would rather not because I know she wants to keep it and honestly, I wouldn’t want her to want to give it up. If that makes sense.
Post # 5
Also, I think the carat size is a bit smaller than she expected and she would like something bigger. Which is also frustrating because when we first started talking about rings she always told me she didn’t care how big the diamond was. I think talking with her friends and such is getting to her since they have bigger diamonds.
Post # 6
Is it not possible to replace all three stones?
Post # 7
Have you checked with a second jeweler? I can see some logic in what they’re saying, but I also fear you’ve got a jeweler trying to make a sale. Try to find a smaller, local place and ask – family run businesses tend to have better service, IMHO.
Also, ask to see some of their nicer diamonds – hold her ring and a nicer ring beside each other. CAN you see a difference in the stones? Can she? If not, you probably won’t notice it over the years either. You can always upgrade the side stones when you have more money down the road (and have the original side stones re-set as diamond stud earrings – then she’ll have a complete set of engagement jewelry!)
If I were in your FI’s shoes, I’d want to keep the original stone for sentimental reasons, but I’d probably want to have it re-set as a necklace pendant or something like that, and just replace it (the centerstone) with a nicer diamond for the ring. Same size, higher quality.
ETA: Have you talked with your FI about the cost of upgrading/replacing the stones/ring? Perhaps you can compromise by keeping her original ring for now, but agreeing to upgrade it on your first anniversary or something like that, when you have more available finances as a couple (weddings tend to, uh, use most of the flexible money in ours lives, eh?)
Post # 8
We can replace all three stones. The thing is that the aside from the three stones, there are diamonds on the setting as well, like on the band and around the diamonds.
Post # 9
Off topic and not really relevant comment but – Whoa this is like the second dude post here today…An emerging trend maybe? Welcome, and I hope you find a solution to your problem!
Post # 10
I can understand her not wanting to spend the rest of her life with a ring she doesn’t love, but if you are a student planning a wedding in the middle of a recession, now just doesn’t seem like the time to purchase a second ring. I would talk to her about upgrading the ring in the future when your career is more stable.
And I would suggest that you file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau about Zales – it is really outrageous that they lied about the reason they refused to give you an appraisal. I own a 3 stone ring, and have one appraisal for the center stone, and another for the two outer stones.
Post # 11
Go to a new jeweler. Zales lied to you – you can most definitely obtain a GIA certificate for at least the center stone in a 3-stone ring. Even if it’s the style that your fiancee likes, I bet you can find something similar at a smaller, independent store. And I would also suggest considering buying a fancier ring for a later anniversary.
This is somewhat off topic, but I also hope that your fiancee can stop comparing her ring to her friends’ rings. Being competitive about that never leads to a good outcome.
Post # 12
i have been going through this competitive crap too. my ring isn’t even a diamond, because i knew we just didn’t have that kind of money. my ring was under $900. for a while after we got engaged, i kept telling my fiance that i wanted to upgrade at some point and i was even thinking of taking my grandma’s old diamond and having it reset. then something clicked and i realized that i didn’t want that, because i wanted the ring that he gave me. i realized that just because i didn’t have a diamond, didn’t mean that my fiance doesn’t love me any less than the girls i know who have diamonds.
i don’t understand why some girls feel like upgrading is not a big deal? it’s expensive and can definitely cause a lot of arguments. i have a friend with a 1 ct princess cut solitare and even she complains about how small her stone is and how she wants to upgrade. and she has like size 4 fingers (which are way small!).
im really sorry you are going through this, i can imagine how badly you feel about not picking a ring that she’s ultimately happy with. can you compromise and tell her that you will get her a better anniversary ring in 10 years? if it were me, i would gladly take a better ring in the future over a less nicer one now. plus at that time it will be both of your money that you can combine and save up, so it will probably take less time to do that. i mean, in reality, a diamond is something you wear, it has no use other than sitting on your finger all day. why not put a downpayment on a house with that $6,000 that she wants for a new ring? at least then you have tangible property that will help you with your new life together.
Post # 13
Poor thing! What a difficult situation.
On the one hand, the ring is now a part of your engagement story, and that’s pretty significant. On the other hand, you probably feel like you were “taken” by Zales and that you weren’t buying what they professed to be selling to you.
If the sale itself weren’t an issue, I’d suggest chatting with your fiance, reminding her that the ring doesn’t symbolize status; it’s a symbol of your pending nuptials, inclusions and all.
(And really, when you think about it, don’t our relationships themselves contain inclusions? Of course they do, and we’re not rushing off to exchange them. We have to embrace them if we’re to have any success with one another.)
But, the sale is an issue. I guess what you need to do between the two of you is decide what you’re going to do about the sale itself.
Good luck. Keep us posted.
Post # 14
Honestly, I think that you can’t afford to buy a completely new ring since you are a student with income that is going toward other things. I think that maybe you should look into trading it in (even though you might not get much since the diamonds are low quality). I know that she likes being able to compare with her friends, but a ring isn’t a status symbol. It is a representation of your love. If you two really can’t afford to upgrade now, maybe you should wait until you have both graduated and then get another ring.
Oh and BTW, when I was in undergrad I did a project on different diamond companies and their quality compared to price and Zales did the worst.
Post # 15
To answer your specific question: Now we are looking at rings again and it’s looking like 6500 for the whole set. Is that average, low, too expensive? I feel that is a ton of money to spend on a ring…What are your feelings on this situation?
I don’t think there is an “average” cost for rings. Everyone has a different amount to spend and everyone has different wants and needs for their rings. It’s very specific to the individual, the area in which you live and how much disposable income you have. $6500 is a lot of money, but diamonds and gold/platinum are very expensive. So, for a complete wedding set (E-ring and wedding band) I don’t personally think it is too much… But that’s just me.
However, if your fiance wants to keep her original ring AND get a new E-ring AND get a wedding band, I think some compromise is going to be necessary on her part. Perhaps she buys the wedding band. Or perhaps she chooses a little less blingy wedding ring to cut down the cost.
I understand what it’s like to compare your ring to your friends’…it’s easy to look at a big shiny stone and wish yours had just a little more dazzle or a little bigger presence on the finger. But, the fact is that you could upgrade it over and over again – and someone will ALWAYS have a bigger diamond than you!
Post # 16
My FI gave me a smaller diamond then I had truthfully hoped for, but I’m okay with it and he has said that we will upgrade. I know that I can’t have everything now and there are many expenses for us, so I had to be real. If you really cannot afford $6500 right now I think you should have that talk with your Fiancee and tell her that you will gladly upgrade when finances are more fluid.
For now though, 1) can you guys find a local smaller jeweler like has been suggested above and see if they will buy the center diamond and sell you a better quality one?
or 2) can you guys compromise on getting a blingy wedding band. For half that price you quoted, she could get a really nice wedding band for $2 – $3,000 that could be substantial enough to be worn by itself after you’re married. I suggest this because it would personally be hard for me to live with a specled if a trade did not work out.
How about something like this (this is under $1,000), which I think is classy: